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First of all let’s start off with this from the NIH – there is currently NOTHING that will prevent you from contracting a coronavirus (or cure you if you do contract it). Prevention is your best option and the tips below are what they recommend.
There is also no reason to panic COVID-19 is one of many coronaviruses and is similar to the flu viruses that circulate every year – the difference with this one is that it is thought to have been transmitted from an animal source and at this time there is no vaccine to help with prevention.
This is an excellent article comparing the ‘regular’ flu virus to the new coronavirus https://www.livescience.com/new-coronavirus-compare-with-flu.html
Most people who are normally healthy are able to fight the virus and recover. The most at risk are those with low immunity conditions, respiratory conditions and the elderly.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick, and keep children home from school when they are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
Further Informational Resources
To find out the latest from health authorities click the links below.
United States – Center for Disease Control
There is absolutely no information to suggest that having MTHFR will make you more susceptible to catching a coronavirus.
That said, if you happen to have a poor immune system due to side effects of MTHFR (like low zinc, iron, B vitamin levels) – that could make you more susceptible.
So what can you do to help boost your immunity?
There are plenty of things you can do in addition to the above recommendations from NIH. These are the top 3 that we are doing to help keep our chances of contracting colds/flus/coronavirus.
- Increase your intake of immunity boosting foods and make sure you are following a healthy diet and getting plenty of sleep
- Increase your intake of immunity boosting supplements
- Use essential oils that are known to support immunity and/or that are good for disinfecting
Immunity Boosting Foods
This is not a new concept but a good time to remind yourself of foods that have immune boosting properties. The following plants are high in lectins which have been shown to inhibit the proliferation of COVID-19 and other viruses. Reference: Keyaerts, E., et al., Plant lectins are potent inhibitors of coronaviruses by interfering with two targets in the viral replication cycle. Antiviral research, 2007. 75(3): p. 179-187.
- Wild Garlic
- Tulip (petals)
- Stinging Nettle
- Common Reed (Australian Bush Tucker plant)
Other foods thought to boost immunity
Source: Medical News Today
- Dark Chocolate
- Oily Fish
- Sweet Potato
- Green Tea
- Sunflower Seeds
- Oranges or Kiwi Fruit
- Red Capsicum (Bell Pepper)
That should give you a good base of foods to make sure you are adding into your diet to help keep you healthy.
Immunity Boosting Supplements (with MTHFR in Mind)
The protocol our naturopath has us on pretty much year round to support our immunity is pretty basic.
- Vitamin C
- Methylated B12
When fighting off a bug we also add in Vitamin D3.
These supplements are great for people with MTHFR to increase during times of illness since in many cases they are going to be low in these nutrients due to the difficulty of processing them. Check with your health care provider to see if this combination is right for you and what amount you should take.
If you want some further information on supplements and foods to help support your immunity please check out this article – it has tons of general information on the coronavirus and prevention.
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Always one of my favorite tools – there are lots and lots of oils that can help with boosting your immune response as well as many other oils that will help you disinfect your surroundings without toxic chemicals.
Essential oils with their anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and anti-viral properties, can be powerful tools in combatting viral infections, like the coronavirus.
Natural agents like essential oils may help:
- Clean surfaces – Reduce likelihood of infection by helping you sanitize surfaces
- Sanitize hands – to prevent the spread of viruses
- Support Immune Barriers – like your sinuses, mouth and lungs, to protect against infection
- Boost Immune Function – to decrease likelihood of fatality
- Immune Modulate System – by balancing the systems that impact immune function (including the nervous system and endocrine system), your immune system has more energy to function
- Protect cellular membranes and cell receptors – to prevent against and eradicate the virus
It’s important to note that blends of essential oils can be especially powerful anti-viral tools. There are certain components of essential oils that have been shown to disrupt the viral lifecycle at different stages.
For this reason, blends of different essential oils can be more effective than single essential oils at preventing viral infection.
1. Clean surfaces
The coronavirus (like most viruses) can survive on surfaces in your home, like countertops, doorknobs, keyboards, clothes and utensils.
For example, if an infected individual touches a countertop and then a healthy individual touches the countertop, the virus can be transferred. Therefore keeping household surfaces clean can help to minimize the risk of infection.
The anti-viral and anti-bacterial qualities of essential oils can be used to create an inexpensive non-toxic cleaning spray for hard surfaces in the kitchen and the bathroom. An easy essential oil cleaning recipes is:
- 1 cup white vinegar (which also contains natural antifungal and antibacterial properties)
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon natural dish soap
- 15 drops Lemon essential oil
- 10 drops Tea Tree essential oil
Mix all ingredients in a 8 ounce spray bottle. Shake thoroughly. Spray on hard surfaces like counters, cabinets, sinks, toilets and wipe clean. Other essential oils with strong antimicrobial properties include Lavender, Orange or Grapefruit.
2. Sanitize Your Hands
When you touch an infected surface, your hands can carry the virus and then transfer the virus if you touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
Regularly and thoroughly cleaning your hands with non-toxic, natural hand sanitizers can kill the viruses that may be on your hands.
I want to make sure that you realize that hand sanitizers do not kill COVID-19. However they can help reduce germ load.
Recipes for sanitizers can be found below
3. Support Your Immune Barriers
Your physical barriers – including your lungs, your mouth and your sinuses – are your first line of defense against pathogens, like bacteria and viruses that can cause infection.
Chemical exposure to airborne toxins like cigarette smoke, car exhaust, sprayed pesticides, air pollution and other airborne chemicals or toxins, like pollen or mold spores, can compromise the integrity of the tight junctions in your lung barrier.
Keeping these protective immune barriers intact helps physically slow or block these pathogens from entering your immune system. You might think of these barriers like the castle walls and the moat that physically protect your kingdom from attack.
It is much easier to keep the bugs out of your system than it is to fight them once they enter your system. Anything you can do to fortify these barriers, like your sinuses, mouth and lungs, helps you protect your body against infection.
Supporting Your Lung Barrier
Coronavirus is a respiratory virus, so helping to fortify your lung barrier may help you avoid coronavirus infection.
In your airways, your upper respiratory tract filters small particles and viruses. Coughing and sneezing remove larger irritants from the airways and nasal passages and are essential defensive reactions.
Essential oils have expectorant properties that help loosen mucus so you can cough it up. It does this by increasing the water content of the mucus, thinning it out, and making your cough more productive.
Comprised function can present as symptoms like asthma, frequent cough or respiratory issues, like difficulty breathing or frequent clearing of the throat.
Oils to assist with lung barrier
I find the easiest way to support this is to use one of the many different pre-made oil blends from essential oil companies these are some of my favorites:
Breathe™ blend from Vibrant Blue Oils contains three different types of Eucalyptus oil, a potent antiseptic, expectorant and decongestant that can help clean and strengthen the lungs. Breathe™ also contains Peppermint™ essential oil whose expectorant qualities may help support upper respiratory congestion caused by asthma, bronchitis, allergies, cold or flu.
Supporting Your Sinus Barrier
Your sinuses and the nasopharynx pathway that connects your nose to your mouth, are lined with mucous membranes to preventing pathogens from crossing from your external environment into your body.
Within our nasal cavity we have tiny, hair-like structures called cilia that line the inside of the sinuses. These cilia move back and forth to push mucus around. This is how mucous gets from these cavities into either the back of the throat or to the nose where it can be blown out.
Elisa Song, MD believes nasal irrigation may help prevent coronavirus. “This is because after exposure to a virus, the influenza virus tries to invade and multiply in your nasal passages for at least 1-2 days before you develop any symptoms. Nasal irrigation can wash away viral particles before they have the opportunity to take hold, and thereby prevent many infections from happening in the first place!”
Support the Mouth Barrier
You mouth is a key entry point for viruses and bacteria. Helping to support that physical barrier and minimize the number of pathogens in the mouth can help minimize your risk of infection.
A great technique for reducing bacteria in the mouth is oil pulling, which consists of swishing 1-2 teaspoons of edible oil (like coconut oil which is said to be naturally antibacterial or sesame oil) in your mouth around your teeth and gums, similar to how you might swish mouthwash.
The longer you push and pull the oil through your mouth, the more pathogens are pulled free, so be careful not to swallow any. Spit out the oil after for 10 – 20 minutes.
You can optimize the benefits even more by adding essential oils like Clove, Cinnamon and Peppermint to your oil pulling routine.
4. Boost Immune Function
A strong immune system is the best defense against viruses, like coronavirus. Hot essential oils, like Oregano, Thyme, Clove and Cinnamon, can stimulate infection-fighting white blood cells and stimulate antibodies against germs. In fact, research found that essential oils high in eugenol, like Cinnamon and Clove, gave the most protection against viruses.
Heat, including heat from hot essential oils, makes antiviral and antibacterial immune responses more efficient. Much of your body’s immune response is designed to respond to a heightened body temperature, including antiviral and antibacterial immune responses. A fever-range temperature also allows your body to better remember germs it’s exposed to, making it stronger at fighting them off in the future.
Ginger Root also helps stimulate your immune system, ease respiratory infections, reduce swollen glands and support drainage of a runny nose or excess mucus. Ginger is especially helpful for treatment of colds, flu, fever, congestion, cough, and sore throat.
Oregano is the most antiseptic of all essential oils. Called “Nature’s Antibody” for its remedial properties, it helps boost all the systems of the body, particularly the respiratory system making it effective in treatments for chronic bronchitis, colds, whooping cough, pulmonary tuberculosis, pneumonia, and asthma.
Finally, Frankincense™ by Vibrant Blue Oils strengthens the immune system by proliferating white blood cells and reducing inflammation. Frankincense™ also contains compounds called sesquiterpenes, which have the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and deliver powerful anti-inflammatory compounds to your brain.
Research supports the benefit of Frankincense in inhibiting inflammation that can cause damage to the lungs. This can lead to fluid leaking from small blood vessels in the lungs. The fluid collects in the lungs’ air sacs, or alveoli. This makes it difficult for the lungs to transfer oxygen from the air to the blood.
Frankincense has also been shown to calm intense inflammatory storms, known as a “cytokine storms”. Your immune cells produce cytokines to fight infection, but if too many are released, it can cause problems in the body. These intense inflammatory responses in the body can trigger complex immune reactions and affect the function of multiple organ systems. This excessive immune response causes some of the damage during infections.
5. Immune Modulate
Your immune system works in conjunction with other systems in your body, like your endocrine system and your nervous system. Your body will always prioritize immediate survival, which means that when you are under emotional stress or physiological stress, it lowers your immune defenses and makes you more vulnerable to illness.
More specifically, stress lowers your white blood cells’ abilities to kill germs, and actually creates more inflammation that contributes to illness.
If you can calm stress by balancing both your endocrine system (hormones) and your nervous system, you will balance the systems that down-regulate immune function. If these systems are not pulling energy away from your immune system, you will have more energy to heal.
Parasympathetic™ blend fromVibrant Blue Oils can help create harmony in your nervous system and endocrine system which diminishes the infectious power of viruses. Viruses can obtain a stronghold in the body when the physical and emotional terrain is out of balance.
6. Protect Cellular Membranes and Cell Receptors
Viruses bind to your cell receptors on the surface of cellular membranes where they can trigger an infection. Your cellular membranes serve as a semi permeable, protective barrier, regulating what enters and leaves your cell, including viruses.
Essential oils can help you maintain the health of your cellular membrane as your cellular membranes are comprised of fat and healthy fats from diet and transdermal application make membranes more fluid and efficient.
Essential oils can interact with and help heal cellular membranes and receptor sites. For example, essential oils travel in the blood stream and find the appropriate cells receptor just as viruses do. Essential oils can block cell receptor sites, making it harder for a virus to get into a cell.
The ability of essential oils to increase permeability of your cell’s membranes is one of the reasons they are so effective at eliminating pathogenic bacteria, like biofilms in your gut.
Some of the best antiviral essential oils include Cinnamon bark, Clove, Eucalyptus, Oregano, Lemon, Thyme, Nutmeg, Rosemary, Mandarin, and Ginger Root. Key constituents of these essential oils are able to disrupt the viral lifecycle at different stages.
Personally I am not a big fan of commercial hand sanitizers they can contain all kinds of questionable ingredients so I always try to make up my own concoctions. The best part is there are tons of options and many can be made from ingredients you are likely to have around the house.
Kid Friendly Hand Sanitizer
Super easy to make and gentle for kids – simply mix
- Mix all ingredients and store in a reusable silicone tube or travel bottle.
- Use as needed to naturally remove germs from hands.
You could also substitute proprietary blends like OnGuard from doTERRA or Thieves from Young Living. If you are going to use with children then I’d lower the drops to 10-15.
Other Sanitizer Options
You can buy 3% hydrogen peroxide pretty much anywhere still. Put this in a spray bottle and use it like you would hand sanitizer. If you want to make it last longer, dilute it with a little water.
Tea Tree Essential Oil
Combine 10 drops of essential oil of tea tree and mix with approximately 4 ounces of water and put into a spray bottle. If the scent is too ‘antiseptic’ for you, add some other essential oils that you like such as lemon or lavender, both of which offer even more anti-bacterial and anti-viral benefits.
Eucalyptus in Aloe Vera
Pour out 1 ounce of aloe vera gel or juice into a 4 ounce spray bottle. Aloe juice works as well in a spray bottle is because it is less viscous, so it goes into solution very nicely. The gel is fine too, it’s just thicker and it’s sold for external use.
Either way, add 10 drops of essential oil of eucalyptus and finally, fill the bottle to the top with water.
This on its own is a strong hand sanitizer, however you can add other essential oils if you’d like to. Thyme would be a good choice, as it has very strong anti-bug powers!
Distilled White Vinegar
Many of you will have bottles of plain white vinegar in your home to use as a cleanser, or in recipes. Vinegar is a great disinfectant and is known to destroy many gram-negative bacteria like E. coli, Salmonella and other pathogens.
You can use this all by itself, or add any essential oil to it that you like. If I were making this, I would add 5 drops each of patchouli, lemongrass, tea tree and thyme. That’s a total of 20 drops for your 4 ounce spray bottle.
Proprietary Oil Blends
There are two essential oil blends are popular among essential oil enthusiasts so you may have either OnGuard or Thieves in your home.
If you do, take about 10 to 15 drops of this and put it into your spray bottle with water.
For those of you who do not have either of these proprietary blends, you can make it up yourself. The essential oils in these are as follows: clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus, rosemary – where they differ is…. one has lemon (Thieves) and the other has wild orange (doTERRA). If you’re making this yourself, my suggestion is to use 5 drops of each EO per 4 ounce spray bottle.
- Plant Therapy also has the Germ Fighter Blend
- Rocky Mountain Oils has the Immune Strength blend
- Vibrant Blue has Immune Support blend
If the stores run out of everything, you can always use rubbing alcohol to kill germs.
Most people have an old bottle of this somewhere in their medicine cabinet. I recommend you dilute by about 50 percent with some water. It’s still going to have a very strong alcohol scent to it and it will be very drying.
If the scent is too much, add some thyme, eucalyptus, lemon or orange. These are all very strong essential oils that will mask the alcohol and add a layer of anti-everything to your sanitizer!
Silver is a strong anti-bacterial and was the antibiotic of choice for years until proprietary drugs became available.
You can buy a bottle of colloidal silver and use it at 100% strength in your spray bottle. Don’t dilute it.
I’d personally recommend that you add 5 drops each of clove and eucalyptus to the silver. Optionally, you can add some essential oils of bergamot, lemon, basil or rosemary to the mix. These not only add fragrance, but also more protection.
There is a turmeric essential oil that you can buy now. If you have this, add 10 drops to a 4 ounce sprayer along with 10 drops of cinnamon and 10 drops of grapefruit. It’s going to smell weird but it covers a broad spectrum of bugs.
The ingredient in turmeric that you’ve probably heard of is called curcumin. It’s a curcuminoid. Anyway, it’s the turmeric root that gives us the curcuminoids which have strong anti-inflammation and antibacterial activity.
If you don’t have the essential oil simply buy the actual root of turmeric at a grocery store. It looks similar to fresh ginger, and turmeric root is almost always right next to the ginger in the produce department.
Cut and peel an inch of turmeric and simmer in approximately 6 to 8 ounces of water. Strain and cool. This ‘turmeric water’ and can be added to any of the blends mentioned above, or you could use it on its own in a 4 ounce sprayer.
Already have a cold or virus? Check out these inhaler recipes to help relieve cold and flu symptoms.
The information on this site has not been evaluated by the FDA or the TGA and is not to be taken as medical advice. I am not a doctor and only offer up the personal experience of my family. All material on this website is provided for information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this website, instead, readers should consult with the appropriate health professional in any matter relating to their health and well-being. Readers who fail to consult with the appropriate health professional assume the risk of any injuries.